Monday, August 20, 2007
I am sorry to hear of your loss. Early in our family's homeschooling years, I met Carolyn. She was the president of our local support group. She was so sweet in spirit. I enjoyed her warmth and hospitality at her home for meetings. I also met Joffre when he worked at Faith Pres. I helped Miss Amy in the church library and Joffre was very gracious in lending assistance many times to us. May the Lord comfort you all. What a beautiful way to bring stories of Carolyn together. ~Juli
Monday, August 6, 2007
Your sorrow is our sorrow, your hurt is our hurt, your peace is our peace.
May God grant you all peace in knowing Carolyn is frolicking in the heavenly meadows and smiling down upon you with her love. Although she has left her earthly being, her soul and spirit shall remain in your hearts forever and always.
Please let us know if we can do anything at any time.
Our love always,
Pam and Dick Clarke
Anje and Ryan Postma
The first time I met Carolyn was in
May Carolyn be in peace. She shall be remembered as a lovely and very special woman, a mother and spouse who dedicated her life to her family, who raised their children with all her love, giving the best of herself. And she must be very proud of it. May the whole Swait family find the light and the strength to cope with this tragic loss, to accept and understand the wishes of God, and to continue to live your lives, being sure that she is with the Lord, and looking for all of you, and smiling, very proud of you, just waiting the time for you to get reunited again.
Claudio B. Cunha
Monday, July 30, 2007
Eulogy To A Wife
A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. (Prov 31:10)
Family, friends, brethren … As we gather to honor Carolyn, my beloved wife, it is fitting to do so by worshipping together the Lord who called her out of darkness some 28 years ago. Having had the great honor of being her husband for 32 years, with the advent of her death I have taken upon myself the task of examining her life and attempting to define the major themes that characterized it.
I thought upon these things deeply during the final days of her life, in an attempt not only to internalize events but also to contextualize them in the sequence of Carolyn’s life. I experimented with different ways of describing this dignified, graceful woman that I had been bonded to by God. In turn I discarded as inadequate several perspectives that emphasized single aspects of her Christian walk:
· Would it be sufficient to typify her life as that of a woman with a deep and abiding faith in Jesus Christ as her Redeemer?
· Should I portray her as the dutiful, loving wife, mother, daughter, or sister in Christ?
· Was she simply the woman whose greatest pleasure was to read and study the Bible, whose voracious mind led to an ever present stack of theological and religious works yet to be read in her personal library?
These are indeed true aspects of Carolyn, but some nights before her demise I finally realized that a broader perspective had to be taken to encompass and describe her life. So, I must appeal to the framework of 1 Co 13:13 to tell you about her: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
How then, faith?
Let me tell you about the quiet hours of the long night in which I revealed to Carolyn that she was terminally ill with lung and colon cancers. After giving her the bare facts of her condition, I suggested we pray together, thinking to comfort her as she lay curled up in a fetal position upon the hospital bed, her breathing labored and already faint. I closed my eyes, and took a moment to collect my thoughts to begin my prayer. But in the interim, Carolyn began to softly pray in her weakened, now raspy, voice: “Oh Lord, You have been so faithful to me …” And for the next 10 minutes she reviewed before God and me His everlasting love for her through the major events in her life: birth, childhood, marriage, salvation, automobile accidents survived, divers prayers made (some answered, others not), home destroyed by fire, husband redeemed, children born or adopted and raised in a Christian home, wives and husbands sought for our children, even trips to distant countries that she had so greatly enjoyed. She prayed for the future of her children and her children’s children, thanking the Lord that she had been blessed with them. She prayed for my future without her.
Some time into this prayer I opened my eyes to regard my wife with something akin to awe as I listened to this psalm of praise to God. I knew I was witnessing the expression of a faith so deep that I was hearing Christ-in-Carolyn praising the Father through the Holy Spirit. And I further realized that her faith had been a strong staff upon which both I and her children had long relied.
This was her faith.
How then, hope?
Her faith in Jesus Christ as her personal King and Savior was not without effect. It was the foundation upon which was built one of the most noticeable characteristics of Carolyn, her strong sense of hope.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rm 15:13)
Carolyn overflowed with hope, permitting her to encourage both herself and others unceasingly. But this hope was by no means some optimistically Pollyannish view of life. Rather, her hope was built upon the promises of Scripture, and her concrete experiences with Him.
Carolyn grew up near the sea, in Lima, Peru, and loved hearing the sound of the surf and smelling the sea. So it is not surprising that her analogy for facing the hardships of life was based on this love. The difficulties of life were waves under which she would dive through, surfacing after they had passed. She rested in the assurance that her Lord would see her through the wave.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Rm 8:28)
This was her hope.
How then, love?
This is where I run the risk of speaking overlong. There is so much to say about Carolyn’s love for God, His Word, her family, the church, for people in general. I will limit myself, therefore, to Carolyn’s gift for hospitality. She loved having people at her table: not just a few people, but the more the merrier. A fabulous, intuitive cook, she loved good food, but she loved more having people around to enjoy it.
You came, you ate, you laughed, you talked about a myriad of subjects, you helped to clean up, but you didn’t cook! No, the kitchen belonged to Carolyn and to her alone. To her daughter and daughter-in-law’s frustration, there were few recipes, no dish was ever prepared quite the same way for long. And it was all delicious … Menus were planned so that cooking was done as much as possible prior to guest arrival, because Carolyn’s objective was not simply to feed people, but rather to engage with them. Once guests arrived, she was out of the kitchen and in the dining room if at all possible.
Being at Carolyn’s table was fun: joking flourished, good food was savored, serious discussions on history, linguistics, culture, theology, everything it seemed, were had. To Carolyn, this loving environment had its own inherent reward: human companionship and warmth.
This was her love.
We will sorely miss Carolyn, but we rejoice that her eternal hopes are now fulfilled.
“Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”
Thursday, July 26, 2007
I have many great memories of sitting around the dining room table after devouring something amazing that Carolyn had made, watching her great family enjoy eachother. I loved sitting at the bar in the kitchen talking to Carolyn while I watched her cook. She was very smart, patient, and understanding; she reminded me of the Sister Wisdom that the book of Proverbs talks about, and whenever I read that verse I always imagine her as that character. I also appreciated that she did not consider herself above my sense of humor. One time, after teaching some of us to say the Apostle's Creed in Portugese, she then taught me how to say, "You are very beautiful. Please bear my children." I look forward to the banqueting feast in heaven when I will again look down the table at her, but the wait is going to be hard.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I remember the first time I met you, Carolyn. You were applying to teach at the ELI. I distinctly remember asking you how to pronounce your name because in Linguistics we have a Caroline (note the difference in spelling). You told me that your name is pronounced with a short i sound unlike Caroline, which is a long i or /ay/. I have shared that story many times and even in recent days, so isn’t it ironic that my husband shares a story about you spelling “Caroline” throughout! Please forgive him!
I have so many fond memories of you. I also have fond feelings for you. Though we have only crossed paths for many brief moments, every encounter I have had with you has been nothing but pleasant and peaceful. You exude peace and calm.
One of the encounters I remember of you is you telling me about surviving the massive brush fires in
Another fond memory I have is when we had a conversation talking about Gordon and my plans to marry. Of course, our plans included not to having a wedding. I think that was about the time that Jennifer was going to marry and you joked with me that you wish she’d elope. Jennifer, if you are reading this, please understand, it’s not because she didn’t want to have a wedding! No way! She wouldn’t miss that for the world. She just knew how practical it was to elope (especially at our age)! I felt reassured that a mom would tell me that.
I remember when Gordon and I were learning how to rollerblade, and you sharing Jonathon’s expertise in rollerblading, and how we should join the class. You really are a proud mom.
I know how much you have shared with Gordon, bringing Joffre’s artwork to his office, to help beautify the sanitarium of Yon Hall.
Carolyn, I really hope that I can someday be as poised as you are.
In closing, I want to share a song with you that I’ve been listening to all of today. It’s not the same without the music, so if you have a chance to download it, the artist singing it is a duo called Hapa. The song is called Lei Pikake. The “lei pikake” is a lei used for courting, for marriage ceremonies and for honoring women in general.
I honor you.
Here are the lyrics in Hawaiian and, after, in English.
Barry Flanagan & Kiope Raymond
Mâpu `ia ke `ala o ka pîkake
I ka o aheahe a ka makani
Aloha a`e au i ka pua `ume mau
`Ako au i kêia pua aloha
I poina `ole `la ai a he launa `ole
Aloha a`e au i ka pua `ume mau
`Ohu`ohu ho`i pili i ka pu`uwai
He lei ho`olei a`e pûlama
Aloha a`e au i ka pua `ume mau
Puana `ia mai ko`u mana`o
He lei pîkake ku`u aloha
Aloha a`e au i ka pua `ume mau
The fragrance of the pîkake is wafted
By a gentle blowing of the wind
I love the flower that constantly attracts
I pluck this flower of my attraction
It will never be forgotten, second to none
I love the flower that constantly attracts
Elegant and close to my heart
A lei to wear and cherish
I love the flower that constantly attracts
An echo of my thoughts
A pîkake lei is my love
I love the flower that constantly attracts
Before I close, please let me share a linguistic tidbit for you. As you can see in the Hawaiian version, the word “aloha” is repeated often in the song. The word “aloha” has many meanings in Hawaiian. I’m sure that you know the most common meaning, “hello” and “goodbye,” but let me tell you more. In Hawaiian, words have spiritual or divine power. Aloha is one of the most sacred and powerful. “Aloha” is an invocation and an acknowledgement that god is everywhere. The morpheme structure is “alo”= presence, front, face + “ha”=breath. “The presence of divine breath.”
Other English translations are love, affection, compassion, mercy, sympathy, pity, kindness, sentiment, grace, charity; greeting, salutation, regards; beloved, loving, kind, compassionate, charitable, lovable; to love, be fond of; to show kindness, mercy, pity, charity, affection; to venerate; to remember with affection; to greet, to hail.
Aloha, Carolyn. I really remember you with affection.
This story goes back to when we were teenagers in Lima.
One fine day we were all looning around, generally gassing about things and someone (more than likely one of the girls) came up with a "if you could be anywhere in the World right now, where would it be ?" question.
(Editor's Note - you can see why I said it was probably a girl who asked the question, as it's usually girls who come up with these sort of questions, like "what's your favourite colour ?" or "what's your favourite ice cream ?" etc, I'm sure they do it just to pester us poor Men... heheh !!!)
You Carol, gave us one of your sweet smiles and let loose with:
" I'd like to swim around in the Sargasso Sea..."
Erm... yes.... well... You completely dumbfounded us all....
After a few seconds of blank expressions, open mouths and maybe the odd person looking at the ceiling with brain cogs whirring beneath a frown of concentration, someone piped up:
"The WHAT sea ?"
It then clicked inside you that no one else had heard of the Sargasso Sea, and quite cheerfully and matter-of-factly you explained:
"It's a sea out in the Atlantic. There's no wind and its full of seaweed "
The outcome of this apparently insignificant event, is that since then, whenever I hear the Sargasso Sea being mentioned, I think of the 15 year old Carol, in her greyish bikini, diving off the back of a yacht, swimming over to a colchoneta (inflatable lilo), climbing up on it and then paddling around on top of this seaweed filled green sea...
I think this is one example of what Richard (Diffenderfer/Bernstein) was saying about part of our brains adopting the thoughts and feelings of other people. I tend to think that happens, but it doesn't happen with everyone you meet, it tends to happen with people who you like.
It certainly happened to me way back then. Carol, you may not have competed to become Miss Ancon, or Miss Peru or Miss Florida, but you (quite unintentionally) did become Miss Sargasso Sea to me, and likewise the Sargasso Sea has become your swimming pool (in my mind).
Whilst I'm at it.... ( "oh no !" I hear you all groan... heheh !!!)
(No mystery this time. This one is just straight memory, as opposed to brains adopting thoughts and patterns of a person you like )
I also remember another occasion from around that time:
Patty, Carol and me went to see Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid at the Cine Colina in Miraflores (Lima).
The odd thing about this was that around that time we always went to the cinema in a large group, but for some reason this time it was only us three... tow roses (Patty and Carol) escoted by (or should that be escorting ? heheh !) a thorn (me)
Why am I telling this ?
'Cos every time I hear the song "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" I think of Patty and Carol.
Strange how we are linked by totally unexpected things sometimes.
God bless you all.
Monday, July 23, 2007
I'm writing this using the past tense, even though Carolyn is still with us in this world. And I know that Joffre, her devoted husband, is or was, holding out hope and prayer for a last minute miracle. And up to now I have joined him in that prayer. But I just got word that the time is very close, according to her doctors. I so wanted to say goodbye in person. But the Spirit of Christ is with her.
What I want to say to everyone who knows and loves her is how much Carolyn did for me when she asked to meet for prayer for our struggling sons and daughters. It was her idea and God blessed it mightily in my life! She and Londa Jones and I met each Saturday morning at 7 a.m. for many months. By His mercy we spent much more time in prayer than in talking. Carolyn drove down to my house in Greer all way from Trion. She must have gotten up at the crack of dawn.
The Lord blessed with intense and personal prayer times. Her heart for Christ and His Word was primary. She prayed that He would mean to her children what He meant to her. It was crucial that each one would be close to Jesus.
These prayer times set the tone for the next couple of days. Carolyn said that they made a difference for the whole week for her. Being forced to concentrate and focus in prayer to our Savior is a huge blessing to women our age who have trouble keeping our minds on a single task.
In addition to the prayer times, I will always remember Carolyn for her insights in the reading group at my house twice a month. It was on a book called Overcoming Fear Worry and Anxiety. Carolyn was quick to share what the Lord was doing in her own vulnerable areas in order to encourage the younger women in the group. She was all about the honor and reputation of Christ as opposed to her own honor and reputation.
I will miss her intensely. But our reunion before the throne will be wonderful and sweet.
Footprints in the Sand
by Mary Stevenson
One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was
walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the
sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he
noticed two sets of footprints in the sand: one
belonging to him, and the other to the Lord. When
the last scene of his life flashed before him, he
looked back at the footprints in the sand. He
noticed that many times along the path of his life
there was only one set of footprints. He also noticed
that it happened at the very lowest and saddest
times in his life. This really bothered him and he
questioned the Lord about it. "Lord, You said that
once I decided to follow you, You'd walk with me all
the way. But I have noticed that during the most
troublesome times in my life, there is only one set
of footprints. I don't understand why when I needed
you most you would leave me." The Lord replied,
"My precious child, I love you and I would
never leave you. During your times of trial and
suffering, when you see only one set of footprints,
it was then that I Carried You."
My cousin Carolyn and I are close to the same age. We have lived in separate parts of the world most of our lives, so we haven’t kept in touch except for what has been relayed via our parents, other members of the family, or an occassional visit by Carolyn to the PNW. It’s sad to know that.
We can choose our friends, but we can’t choose our relatives….. I’m so happy God chose Carolyn and her family to be a part of my family. Godspeed Carolyn, Godspeed.
Love to you all, Pam and Dick
I knew Carolyn as both a neighbor and as a colleague when we were both teaching at the ELI. What an easy person to be around—always considerate, helpful, and kind. I am reminded of this every time I drink hot tea from my favorite travel thermos.
We had sold our house a few weeks earlier and were a few days away from a 12-hour drive to get to our new home in Athens, GA. One afternoon, Carolyn stopped by and gave us a most thoughtful and appropriate going away gift— that travel thermos I have grown so attached to. It was most appreciated on that long drive and ever since, it has reminded me of the very caring, genuine person that she is. We crossed paths rather briefly, but Carolyn definitely made an impression on me. I’m sure I am far from being alone in that.
Should come as no surprise, then, that the ELI would have seen a Swait or two.
Indeed, Carolyn and her son, Joffre, had their respective chapters working at the ELI.
And the truth is that, during these past couple of weeks, we all have been thinking about Carolyn.
(Thinking about Joffre, too.)
We aren't reminiscing as much as we are reflecting.
Carolyn's cultural and academic background made her a true kindred in our small ELI family.
So this morning, Barbara Earp shared with me this quote.
She was moved by its poetry and profundity:
Imperishable is the Lord of Love.
As from a blazing fire thousands of sparks Leap forth,
so millions of beings arise From the Lord of Love and return to him.
All our thoughts and prayers are with you, Carolyn.
A man long absent
comes home safe from afar.
His kin, his friends, his companions,
delight in his return.
In just the same way,
when you've done good
& gone from this world
to the world beyond,
Your good deeds receive you--
as kin, someone dear
The Lord is my chosen portion
and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in
indeed, I have a beautiful
What a glorious woman she is. When I first met her I though her constant hopefulness and cheer a bit of a weakness. I am ashamed and embarassed to admit that.God has since greatly convicted me, a terrible pessimist, that it is actually her greatest strength. Her hope was rightly confined by the truth of God and she expected blessings from God, her Father. God knows how to give good gifts to his children and loves when they know and expect that from Him. Carolyn knew and received great gifts from him and continued to thank Him for that even yesterday as she lays close to death.
She was telling Gordon something about her son at age 12. I mosied myself into the conversation, nodding affably as she talked about something funny Joffre did as a pre-adolescent. I had no idea she was referring to the past. Later on, when she mentioned her daughter-in-law, I idiotically asked her, "what? your son is married at 12???" What a laugh I got from the two of them.
From then on, especially here at the E.L.I., whenever we bumped into each other, she always gave me the sweetest smile. It was always a pleasure to see her, and I really regret I didn't get the chance to know her a lot better.
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Blessed are all who have sat at her table to partake of a Swait family meal;
Blessed are we who have learned so much from Carolyn’s intellectual curiosity and rigor;
Blessed are we who have been witness to her capacity to laugh and be pleased;
Blessed are we to know someone so accepting of our eccentricities;
Blessed am I to have a sister in whose company I am compelled to be my best self;
Blessed am I who to be a part of this vigil; to be a part of her family; to have shared moments of her life and to be invited into her circle;
Blessed are we for whom she has been best friend, sister, mother, wife; and for her faith, from which all her strength and love has emanated.
“Your presence enters me like thread through the eye of a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with your color.”
That seemed to connect directly to something I'd just read in the newspaper an hour or so earlier. A quote by a writer named Hofstadter I think. About a revelation he'd had while looking into the eyes of a photograph of his wife. He realized that in the many years of intimate communication with her, her mind had, in fact, entered and become part of his mind. That the complex collection of synapses, impulses and structures of his mind had been altered forever, and had taken on and incorporated so many of the structures and connections of her mind too. That her mind had, in fact, now become a permanent part of his own. And that this process would continue, and has always continued, from her mind to his mind and beyond, from person to person, from generation to generation, and that in fact we all, in fact, live within this one large interconnected mind...
And that seemed to connect perfectly and directly to the things that have been running through my mind during these last few days amid the onrush of terrible news about Carolyn...
The phrase keeps repeating: "It’s the thought that counts.” Something people say at a birthday or Christmas when you open a present that doesn't quite fit, or is something you already have, something that's not quite right...
Maybe it's something that's really great but just doesn't last long enough...
It's the thought that counts. It makes me think of how no conversation wth Carolyn, no matter how short or how routine, is ever anything less than rich and varied and full of meaning and wit and love... Carolyn can be more thoughtful in five minutes I think than other people can be in a year! What a privilege it is to know her and to share her wonderful mind and heart!
I love to imagine now how the experience of hearing and sharing with her, her thoughts and observations, her unique loves and insights, will now reside in my own thoughts and emotions forever...and how they will now be shared and transmitted beyond me as well...
And how her thoughts must have become such a part of her husband and her children and will continue to move on to their children and their children, and all their countless friends and children and colleagues...
What a wonderful thought! And how sweet to savor it now as I sit quietly, a visitor in the Chinese Gardens, soaking in all the complex textures and fragrances around me. The myriad plants and stones and water...the beautiful and intricate and alien architecture....all the shades of green and brown and gray...the light, light rain tickling my skin and making tiny little rings on the surface of the pond, appearing and disappearing almost instantly...
Friday, July 20, 2007
And because good ol' Joffre the Younger is an unforgettable character both inside and out, I could not help but to think of you immediately.
I mean, can you blame me?
You come upon Joffre and think, almost as a knee-jerk reaction: whoa... I wonder about his mom.
And I had never even met you.
Under these circumstances, you can wonder about all sorts of silliness, right?
Were you a giant?
Were you a no-nonsense intellectual with a peculiar sense of humor?
Were you a steadfast Christian, not only in your heart but in your mind as well?
A theologian would be Joffre's choice term, I guess.
Were you a theologian?
One day, as Joffre and I were talking about everything from the cabbages to the kings, I asked about you.
He was nonchalant.
You're only the mom.
Nice, healthy, typical reaction from a 19-year-old boy.
I smiled at the purity, simplicity, and power of his reaction.
Of course, at that moment I could not know that even though Joffre didn't say much about you, his manner in his response revealed all those qualities, which later I would come to know in you first-hand: a pure, simple, and powerful energy yours, Carolyn Swait.
At every moment of your life.
made later in life) to understand, but for those of us that were born
in Peru, we had no cousins, Aunts, Uncles, Grandmothers near by. Our
friends became sometimes closer than family. (We get to choose friends)
Plus, there wasn't a large group of Americans and Brits our age, so we
formed friendships that have lasted our entire lives. (Even a marriage
came out of it!)
It's hard to put into words the regard, fondness, affection and love
we have for each other. It goes beyond friendship. You know what I
mean, Patty, Mimi, Solange, Colin, John, Bertie, Francis, Johnny.
When we got together in February, it was so good to see you. You were
braver than I. I didn't make the climb. Me and my blood pressure would
greet you the next day. It wasn't long enough. You were packed and
gone too soon. A flight to catch.
Un abrazo fuerte amiga, xxxalex
Alexandra (Green) Perdue
As everyone can observe from these pictures after a long hike up from the depths of the Grand Canyon, Carol stood with her companions: her sister Patty, and her friend Susie, under a signpost that said Bright Angel Trail. As I looked at these photographs yesterday, it hit me! This is exactly what Carol exemplifies, a Bright Angel, someone moved by an uncompromising faith and with incredible courage to beat the odds. She took the challenge to hike down, and up the Grand Canyon, and showed she has an unbending will to accomplish her goals.
I hadn't seen Carol in years, and when I saw her again in February '07, she sported her signature smile. She always smiled, and her positive attitude infected us all during our week in Arizona.
What else can I say. I hope Carol is an inspiration to us all, and we learn from her example: despite adversity, follow your dreams.
When I think of Carolyn I think of someone with a sharp theological mind. I remember one Bible study I was leading. I asked a question, expecting someone to give a partial answer that I could then expand upon. Carolyn answered the question with such thoroughness, I could think of nothing to add. I, tongue-in-cheek, admonished her for saying everything I had thought to say. But this is typical of her – insightful and articulate with the added bonus of maturity. That is another trait. She knows how to speak, how to act, how to treat others. She is a model for anyone on how to life the mature Christian life.
I laughed (and cried) when reading all the notes to you. i am so happy your friends had a part in your life.
Jennifer's story of the "famous family motto" reminds me of the time your mother was in Eugene. She, Patti (9 years old?) and you (7 years old?) came to see me.
After a couple of hours visiting Patti and you were getting very restless, began to fidgit and wanted to go. Your mother looked at both of you and said "you were raised a lady so act like a lady".
No one was more surprised than I, for dad (grandpa Hartford) always told us that as we grew up and we HATED IT!
I said to your mother, at the time, we hated it. She smiled and said "I know, but it works".
Thanks Carolyn in starting your family motto. Dad's words never leave my thoughts and now as Jennifer says your words are continuing.
Thanks for coming to Portland the summer of 2006. Marcia and I will remember our time with you as a treasure.
All our prayers are with your mom and her family right now, Mariana
May God Bless you all and give you the strength you will need from now on.
With love in Christ Jesus,
Kevin and Marianne Olivier
Thursday, July 19, 2007
table. It felt good to walk through those doors. You were always greeted
with one of the warmest smiles I have ever seen. I tasted lentils for the
first time at her table (a big deal for a girl raised on southern cooking),
and salad at the end of a meal (not the beginning?).
The things that I admire most about her are intangible though.
The fun of playing musical bedrooms.
The gentle yet firm way she demanded respect from her children, and they
The teasing of two people completely devoted to one another for life.
The warmth and hospitality of her home.
The encouragement of strengths, the careful discipline of weaknesses and the
godly discipleship of her family.
I should hope to be a mother like her, a woman completely devoted to her
husband and her children, loving and enjoying them all to pieces.
"Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises
What a fitting tribute for a lovely lady.
Christie (Parsons) Palmer
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
Love to you Susie.
Carolyn, Susie, and Carolyn's sister Patty climbed down the Grand Canyon together February of this year.
She was the only one of us in the family who did not have a middle name so she solved the problem by splitting her name in half and insisting we call her Carol. As you can tell we still do. Except for my Mom who always calls her Carolina.
palabras y deseos de aliento y fortaleza que te enviamos van con mucho
Recuerdo a Carolyn muy bien , con su pelo ensortijado y medio
pelirojo , bien alta y fuerte , en las fotos que enviaron del paseo al Gran
Cañon la reconocí enseguida.
Dale un abrazo de mi parte y cuenta con nuestro incondicional apoyo
en todo momento.
Un beso grande,
forth between all of us in her class expressing our concern and our prayers
I have fond memories of Carol Lynn (of course at school it was Carolyn, but
love the story of the name change to have a middle name) there were several
classes when we sat in desks next to each other. I've attached a Class 1
sportsday foto, looking at her there it seems that even in senior school she
looked the same. Always thought she was so sophisticated.
Please let us know how she is doing. If we can write directly to Joffre for
him to print up the emails just let us know his address.
A big hug to Carol
8 They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
9 For with you is the fountain of life;
in your light we see light.
“Drink from your river of delights”! My dear friend Carolyn ALWAYS encouraged us to drink from His “river of delights”. I pray that even now, at this very moment, she is drinking heavily from that glorious river of delights……. dipping into the fountain of life ….. and rejoicing in His light.
Thank you for blessing my life so greatly, Carolyn!
“Great!”, I says. “Which one?”
“The one near Talbot’s and the movie theatre”, she says.
“I’ll be there!”, I says. “Can’t wait to see you!”
I go. I wait. No Carolyn and Jennifer. I wait. No one comes. I don’t have her new phone number. What do I do? I wait some more, but I begin to worry that I’ve made a mistake. Naw, not me! She said the Starbucks near Talbot’s. THIS is the Starbucks near Talbot’s. Oh oh! Wait! This is the Starbucks that WAS Talbot’s!! Oh horrors! They’ve been waiting at the Royal Park Starbucks for almost an hour! ……. uhhhhh…..the one near Talbot’s and the movie theatre. Oops!
Yup. Aside from my utter stupidity, that was a great day. We had much to catch up on. (loved ones, friends, and life situations) Haven’t seen Carolyn since then, but I’ll always cherish the memory of that crazy mixed-up day!
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
soft, femenine and determined. Patrick and I are very sorry
to read these sad and very preoccupying news on Carol.
We will pray for her, Joffre, your Mom and you. That God
will be with you in his warm and comforting embrace. Faith
will give her and all of you the strenghth and comfort you
will be needing.
Please keep us informed and if we can be of ANY help, other
than remembering her in our prayers, please let us know.
Give her a big hug when you see her next.
I am remembering an early morning prayer group somewhere ( Nancy's house, Christian Study Center?) with Lori, Barbara, Nancy, you and me when you suggested that we pray 'outloud' when praying alone. I have been mindful of that often.
Attending your graduation pary in your home in Gainesville I felt so comfortable. Your home was filled with paintings and other family items. We ate a delicious rice dish and you shared the recipe. We made and served that dish at a wedding shortly after that.
Your meringue chocolate chip cookies we ate at a small group Bible study at Lori's were incredible!
Your Christian Sister,
Go in peace, dear classmate. Our prayers will be with you now and always.
That became one of the most famous, yet annoying phrases in our house. It's harmless enough in itself, but we always heard it at a time when we weren't quite in the mood. Apparently she coined it after she told a young Joffre that life wasn't fair only to be told in return that "well, it should be." Too true - so, she came up with something we all can agree with (even though we hated to hear it).
Over time, though, we learned to love this saying. It has become something of a family motto. In fact, I think all of her children at one time or other have gleefully passed on this tid-bit of wisdom to others, glad not to be on the receiving end.
Monday, July 16, 2007
Then I had the joy of tasting her food: asparagus broiled till just crispy with lemon, apple fritattas, potato salad with carrots and peas, broccoli bacon salad, brined pork tenderloin, chicken marinaded in soy sauce and orange juice, chocolate souffles, tirimisu, flank steak with cilantro/onion sauce, bean salads, rice and beans with onions and bacon fried in manioc flour and butter, ham and chicken pies, cakes made from almonds, crispy cucumber salad marinaded in rice vinegar, strawberries with real whipped cream.....hmmm. She gave food such a good name.
The really great thing is that if you go to the younger Swait's house (us) or the Cordova house you will see many of the same things on our menus. She taught us so much about cooking and food. I'm hoping to write down her recipes for our kids but she taught us too well. We don't know how to measure the ingredients because we learned by "a little of that" and "a pinch of these" and taste.
But the thing that sticks out in my mind was a strange tradition in the Swait house. Joffre the Elder was getting ready to serve dessert and said some awful pun or play on words joke ( he calls them jokes) and started laughing hysterically at his own joke. I felt a bit at a loss and turn to my hostess, Carolyn, for direction only to find her giggling along. So I braved it out but it got worse. Joffre kept laughing till he was crying and Carolyn was heartily laughing too. "Oh, Bibs,.... really," she'd say. I waveringly smiled and looked back and forth between the two and had inspiration. I thought, "Ah, these two really like each other." I didn't miss the punchline. The way Swaits laugh at each other you'd think they could be on comedy central but they just really like each other.
As the years have passed I raise an eyebrow and give Joffre the Elder a dirty look when he makes his goofy play on words jokes. Jennifer who raises her eyebrow then sort of spits out a laugh till she is totally giggling says it only fuels him but I disagree. Carolyn is the fuel behind that fire with her giggling. (Incidentally, she even giggles if you say the word "hexagon" to her.Maybe only when Jonathon does.) You must understand she is not a silly woman. She just knows how to enjoy her husband and children.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Mom told us it couldn't be the shuttle. That the accident had happened too high, and that it wouldn't have been visible from our part of the earth anyway (remember, this was down in Rio). She was surely right, but I've never looked it up. I like to think that it was possible.
And that was the year mom got blue bikes for her birthday. May 28th or thereabouts we came back from playing outside and mom and dad said they had a surprise for us. And there they were: two brand new, bright blue Caloi bicycles for Jon and for me (of course I can't remember if Jennifer got anything...the important thing was that I got a bike). Are you kidding me? We get bikes for your birthday?!
And they were great bikes. I think they made it through a couple of moves. Our building in Rio sat on the crest of a hill, just short of the top, and I used to ride my bike around the cul-de-sac at the top, shirtless, eating apple after apple. One time I fell off heading down that hill, and scraped my chest all up. I mean, those were great bikes.
She never gave us anything for her birthday again.
When we lived on the Ilha do Governador in Rio, I made a pact with this kid at school. This wasn’t the Colégio Olavo Bilac, where I got in trouble with mom for stealing Jon’s much-treasured tin lockbox and selling it to another kid at school. This was the Montessori school, where we all just kind of floated around an open room with green throw rugs and hardwood floors, drawing or pinging away on musical instruments. This was in ’86, so it was probably second grade.
Anyway, I made a pact with this kid. We had been friends for a while, but he hadn’t been hanging around with me recently. One day we were all crammed into the school van, and I asked him why. It turned out his new friend said he couldn’t hang out with him and be friends with me too. And I said that was fine, we could be secret friends. We agreed to it.
Eventually I told my mom about this. And she told me that a real friend wouldn’t be a secret friend. Friends stick together.